PHOTOS: A Look at AWEA Windpower 2016
June 06, 2016 | Wolfgang Beez, Sr. Business Portfolio Manager – Wind
Last month I headed to Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans to attend AWEA Windpower 2016. Interacting with this year’s exhibitors and attendees left no doubt in my mind that wind turbines are instrumental and powerful players in the future of renewable energy generation.
The industry has grown from infant-stage wind turbines with multi-kilowatt generating capacity to turbines with multiple megawatts of power. The average installation size in 2015 was 2 MW in the United States and 2.5 MW to 3 MW in Europe. Traditional power generators such as NextEra, Iberdrola, Duke Energy, Eon and many more have grown their renewable wind portfolios over the past few decades. Even giants like BP now own wind assets.
In my conversations with major wind farm owners and operators who manage several hundreds of turbines, they emphasized that their priorities are operational and electrical safety. They are on the lookout for products and technologies that can increase reliability and reduce the number of turbine climbs by technicians who have to service battery fault conditions.
Maxwell ultracapacitors used in pitch systems is one example technology that can minimize O&M costs and improve safety. With Maxwell’s ultracapacitor retrofit—a plug-and-play technology that replaces batteries—wind farm operators can achieve their priorities. Ultracapacitors are robust energy storage devices that contribute to operational safety and help minimize maintenance, even for fielded turbines that rely on batteries for their pitch backup system (and require frequent replacement and turbine climbs to respond to battery fault conditions).
It was fascinating to get a big-picture view of the advancements made in the wind industry. On behalf of the wind team at Maxwell, I can say that we look very much forward to being part of the industry’s advancement and supporting existing and next-generation wind turbines with our ultracapacitor solutions.
Sr. Business Portfolio Manager – Wind
About this author
Wolfgang Beez is Maxwell’s senior business portfolio manager for the wind group. He has over 15 years of domestic and international experience in product management, strategic planning, marketing communications and sales. He holds a Diplom-Ingenieur in mechanical engineering from Rhein Main University of Applied Sciences and an Executive MBA from Paul Merage School of Business from the University of California in Irvine. He is bilingual in English and German.
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